Do you want a spiritually and emotionally healthy heart? Many times our habits create the condition of our hearts. Why wait for a new year to resolve to instill good habits? Let’s explore three simple habits we can instill into our lives today to have spiritually and emotionally healthy hearts.
Psalm 119 is on record as the longest chapter in the Bible. But contained in this really long Psalm are three specific ideas or habits that can lead you to a healthy heart.
These brief verses will help you set your heart on the things above and develop habits that will result in a healthy heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutesPsalm 119:112-114
forever, to the end.
113 I hate the double-minded,
but I love your law.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
1. A Healthy Heart Knows What to Hate
You might say, “Wait a minute! Why is that in the Bible? We are not supposed to hate?!” Look at verse 113: “I hate the double-minded but I love your law.” The Bible is saying I hate the condition of the heart that is double-minded.
We must make some decisions about actions in our lives in advance so when we are in the moment, we have already decided what we will do. I love certain negative actions in my life but I hate the crash. For example, I love Oreo Cookies. I could eat an entire package with a big glass of whole milk and not even blink. I love it. But I hate going to a tailor to let my pants out. I hate getting on the scale and seeing the number climb. I hate the crash after the sugar rush.
Before you can make a change to an old habit, you have to hate it.
Another example, you have to hate self-pity, but, I confess, self-pity feels so good! Self-pity feels as good as Oreo Cookies! I love what self-pity does FOR me, but I hate does TO me.
In order to make a change in an old habit and create a new one, you got to hate the old habit in order to change. Another example, it feels great to blow up in anger. I get my frustration off my chest and it feels great to explode at others that are not doing what I think they should be doing. BUT the consequence of anger is no one wants to be around me.
Know what to hate and fix your energy and attention on the law of the Lord.
Get familiar with “healthy hate.” I hate racism, bullying, and sex trafficking. I hate being late or procrastinating. I hate the discipline of doing what needs to be done early so I don’t procrastinate but the consequences of procrastination are greater than the discipline needed to get the job done on time or early. Healthy hate will lead to change!
It takes discipline to study the Word of God… His law. But the rewards outweigh the expense of the discipline.
2. A Healthy Heart Knows Where to Hide
Do you know where to hide? You should. The attacks are going to come. The negative thought patterns and discouragement are coming. I don’t know what you battle but we all battle something and the attacks are coming. Where will you hide?
I’m not talking about physical places. I’m talking about the heart. Where does your heart go when an attack comes.
“114 You are my hiding place and my shield;”
We know attacks are coming. Decide now where you are going to hide. Run to a place of real protection. Sometimes we run to things that seem safe and give a feeling of temporary comfort but really aren’t safe. These false “safe places” are really battlegrounds. Don’t run into a battleground thinking it’s a safe place. Some people run to food, porn, gossip, etc as “safe hiding places.” Some of us run to these paper mache shields thinking they will provide protection. Sometimes our shield is blaming others. We blame other people for every circumstance in our lives. That isn’t a shield and a poor hiding place.
What is your hiding place?
Come out of the shadows of these fake hiding places. Abide in the shadow of the Almighty!
3. A Healthy Heart Knows How to Hope
My heart knows how to hope. It’s good to have hope. Does your heart know how to hope? In this passage, the Psalmist says in this instance, “I Hope.” It’s not just something I HAVE but it is something I DO.
I don’t hope that things will improve. Hoping is not wishing. Hope is a way of living. Hope puts its hand to work. Have you put your hand to what you are hoping for? Because faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not yet seen.
God wants to open your heart to the possibility of something new but you’re going to have to put your hand to what you are hoping for. My hope is not in the path that my life takes because there are ups and downs. My hope is in the promise of God that is ever constant and never changing.
Don’t miss another day to develop healthy habits for a healthy heart.
Excess of the future in your mind can lead to anxiety. I know because I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) not too long ago. It was a difficult time of uncertainty and frustration.
But I found a way to Triumph Over Anxiety. I made a list of ten simple and effective steps to cope with GAD that you can use too. Find it here in my eBook: